No-Knead Make-Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter
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No-Knead Rolls with Honey Butter — These soft, light, fluffy yeast dinner rolls are so easy to make! They’re practically work-free because there’s no-kneading involved.
Easiest No-Knead Yeast Rolls Recipe
There’s nothing almost nothing better than warm, fresh, buttery homemade dinner rolls. The only thing better than the rolls is that the dough is a make-ahead and no-knead dough.
The principle is that you make a big batch of dough, keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days, and just bake off what you need on that particular day. It sounds too good to be true but it works.
This quick dinner roll recipe is perfect for anyone who’s never worked with yeast because it’s almost impossible to screw up. If you can dump ingredients in a bowl and stir, you can make these.
I like to brush the tops with honey butter before baking and it makes them even more irresistible. Schmear the extra honey butter on after they’ve baked as you’re devouring them. So good.
The rolls are light, soft, and fluffy. I just want to rip them apart and drench them in honey butter.
Nothing beats warm, fresh, homemade bread. And for the rest of the day, your house will smell like a bakery.
If you literally need to butter someone up in your family, these will do the trick and earn you some major brownie points. You can just pretend that you slaved away over them.
What’s in No-Knead Rolls?
To make these no-knead yeast rolls, you’ll need:
- Instant yeast
- Oil (canola or vegetable work well)
- All-purpose flour
- Butter (for the honey butter)
How to Make No-Knead Rolls
They’re practically work-free because there’s no-kneading involved. Since there’s no kneading, I don’t even use my stand mixer and stir everything together with a wooden spoon in a bowl.
Simply combine warm water, yeast, two eggs, honey, oil and flour.
Stir, cover it for about two hours to rise, and from there you have options.
…Two Hours Later
You can either bake with some of the dough now, or bake later. I usually use about one-quarter of the dough, and refrigerate the rest. The recipe will yield about 14 to 16 dinner rolls, but I don’t only make rolls with this dough.
Sometimes I make mini-challah loaves. Mini food tastes better.
Or I make mini loaves of bread in Mini Loaf Pans. These pans and they come in handy for so many things and I just love them.
I bake rolls in them, too. We are a family of 3 and 4 rolls is fine. We don’t need carb mania every night.
You can see how much mileage I got from one batch of dough. And it’s not even that much dough, just a 3 1/2 cups flour recipe, but I love the flexibility of it.
Sometimes I form the dough into balls and keep them in the fridge in a covered pie dish. About an hour before I want to bake them, I put the dish on the counter to warm up and rise.
Bake for 15 minutes. Instant dinner rolls.
Can These Be Prepped as Make Ahead Dinner Rolls?
Yes! Let the dough rise once, then place it in the fridge for up to 5 days. When ready to use, punch down the dough and form the rolls. Let the rolls rise a second time before baking them off.
Can I Use Bread Flour Instead of AP?
I’ve made this recipe using a blend of all-purpose and bread flour, but I prefer using just all-purpose flour because it creates softer, squishier bread and it’s not quite as high-rising. If you want to use bread flour as well, I’ve also tested this recipe with a blend of 2 1/2 cups bread flour and 1 cup all-purpose.
Can I Use Whole Wheat Flour?
You can’t simply substitute all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour in baked goods, as they have different protein contents, etc. However, if you’re looking for a whole wheat dinner roll recipe I recommend making these Whole Wheat No-Knead Rolls. I’ve tested this recipe many times and know it works!
Can I Freeze the Dough to Bake Off Later?
In my experience, no. I recommend baking the yeast dinner rolls as written and then freezing them. Frozen dinner rolls thaw beautifully — just set them on your counter and let them come to room temperature!
What Type of Yeast Should I Use?
You want to use an active dry yeast or an instant yeast. I use Red Star Platinum Yeast and it never lets me down!
Do I Have to Proof the Yeast?
Proofing the yeast is when you sprinkle it over warm water and let it foam up for 5 to 10 minutes. Technically you don’t have to proof instant yeast (which is what this recipe calls for) but because this is a no-knead rolls recipe I prefer proofing the yeast anyways just to make sure it’s “alive.”
Tips for Making No-Knead Dinner Rolls
You can use oil or melted butter in the no-knead yeast rolls. Oil creates a softer loaf, and butter creates a crustier crust. Also, butter-based dough is firmer and slightly easier to work with, but I have no trouble with oil-based dough and prefer it.
For the first rise, you need to put the dough somewhere warm and draft-free. Create a warm environment by preheating your oven for 1 to 2 minutes to 400F, then shutting it off. This creates a 90F-ish warm spot. Slide the bowl in and wait while the yeast works. Just make sure your oven is off!
For the second rise, make sure to cover the dish with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap is very important and shouldn’t be overlooked! If you leave off the plastic wrap, you’ll wind up with dense dough balls.
- 7/8 cup water (scant 1 cup), warmed to about 125F for Platinum yeast, about 105 to 115F for most other yeast
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet, I use Red Star Platinum
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil, or 1/4 cup butter (oil creates a softer loaf, butter creates a crustier crust; butter-based dough is firmer and slightly easier to work with, but I have no trouble with oil-based dough and prefer the bread)
- 1/4 cup honey
- pinch salt, to taste
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I have also used 2 1/2 cups bread flour and 1 cup all-purpose; bread flour creates chewier, firmer bread; AP creates softer, squisher bread and it’s not quite as high-rising)
- 1/4 cup (half of one stick) unsalted butter, very soft
- 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
Make the dough:
- Pour water into a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl and warm it to manufacturer’s directions on yeast packet, about 45 seconds on high power. Take the temperature with a thermometer. If you don’t have one, water should be warm to the touch, but not hot. Err on the side of too cool rather than too hot because you don’t want to kill the yeast.
- Pour water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top; wait 5 to 10 minutes, or until yeast is foamy. This means it’s alive and will work. (This is proofing and technically with instant dry yeast you don’t have to proof it, but for this recipe, I do)
- Add the eggs, oil, 1/4 cup honey, optional salt, and whisk to combine, about 30 seconds.
- Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour. Stir for about 1 minute more. This is as much ‘kneading’ as the recipe requires. Dough will be thick, lumpy, bumpy, and not smooth. This is okay.
- Make a ball with the dough in the center of the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. * (see note below)
- At this point, you have two choices: bake the rolls now or bake them later.
If baking immediately:
- If you plan to bake now, punch dough down, remove it from bowl, and turn it out onto a well-floured surface.
- Knead it only so much as necessary to shape it into balls for rolls (I divide the dough in half, and if I’m making rolls, I make 8 rolls from each half, for 16 rolls total, they’re just a bit bigger than golf balls). Or form desired shapes such as mini loaves, challah, breadsticks, pretzels, etc. Use only what you need and save the rest for later in the refrigerator.
- Place balls of dough in a cooking sprayed round baking dish or pie plate, or in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan; size depends on how many you’re making. They can be close to each other, but if they’re overly squished they’ll bake into each other.
- Cover baking dish with plastic wrap, and allow rolls to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for about 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. I use the preheated oven trick again.
- In the final minutes of rising, preheat oven to 350F.
- Bake rolls for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly golden and puffed. Baking time will vary greatly based on how many rolls you’re baking, or if it’s another shape such as a mini loaf, the size of the pan, and personal preference. Watch your bread, not the clock.
- Serve as soon as bread is cool enough to handle.
If baking later:
- If you plan to bake later, take dough that’s risen for about 2 hours from step 5, keep it covered, and refrigerate it. Dough may be kept refrigerated for up to 5 days before baking.
- When you plan to bake, pick up at step 5 and follow through the section labeled "if baking immediately."
Make the honey butter:
- Stir to combine the butter and honey. Generously brush or spread the mixture over the top of the dough before baking.
- Reserve remainder to serve with rolls after baking.
*For the first rise: Create a warm environment by preheating your oven for 1 to 2 minutes to 400F, then shutting it off. This creates a 90F-ish warm spot. Slide the bowl in and wait while the yeast works. Just make sure your oven is off.
Storage: Rolls are best fresh, but will keep airtight for up to 4 days at room temperature or may be frozen for up to 4 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 29mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g
More Easy Bread Recipes:
Honey Dinner Rolls — Lightly sweetened from honey in the dough and are then brushed with honey-butter prior to baking, which lends both a golden color to the rolls and infuses them with a subtle sweetness.
Challah (no-knead) — This Challah bread is extremely easy, fuss-free bread making, and great for anyone who’s new to bread-making or challah-making. It turns out light, fluffy, almost croissant-like, with just a hint of sweetness.
30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread (no-knead, no yeast) — Skillet breads bake quicker than bread in loaf pans, so you get to enjoy this bread sooner rather than later. It’s soft, fluffy, chewy, and lightweight with a moist crumb that reminds me of the texture of a moist muffin.
Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin Bread — A no-knead, foolproof recipe so you don’t have to buy English muffins anymore!
Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread — This sandwich bread is soft, fluffy, light, and moist. It’s made with a secret ingredient that keeps it moist and fluffy — oatmeal! It’s the perfect bread for a PB&J or grilled cheese sandwich!
How to Make Sourdough Bread— This easy sourdough bread recipe uses yogurt and sour cream in place of a traditional sourdough starter, which makes it possible to prep a loaf in less than a day!
Pumpkin Dinner Rolls — These rolls are soft, slightly chewy, and the pumpkin puree keeps them moist and adds just enough tooth-sinking density.
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